David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 61 (4):387 - 401 (2005)
Tobacco companies have started to position themselves as good corporate citizens. The effort towards CSR engagement in the tobacco industry is not only heavily criticized by anti-tobacco NGOs. Some opponents such as the the World Health Organization have even categorically questioned the possibility of social responsibility in the tobacco industry. The paper will demonstrate that the deep distrust towards tobacco companies is linked to the lethal character of their products and the dubious behavior of their representatives in recent decades. As a result, tobacco companies are not in the CSR business in the strict sense. Key aspects of mainstream CSR theory and practice such as corporate philanthropy, stakeholder collaboration, CSR reporting and self-regulation, are demonstrated to be ineffective or even counterproductive in the tobacco industry. Building upon the terminology used in the leadership literature, the paper proposes to differentiate between transactional and transformational CSR arguing that tobacco companies can only operate on a transactional level. As a consequence, corporate responsibility in the tobacco industry is based upon a much thinner approach to CSR and has to be conceptualized with a focus on transactional integrity across the tobacco supply chain.
|Keywords||CSR corporate philanthropy organizational legitimacy tobacco industry the common good integrity transactional CSR transformational CSR|
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Citations of this work BETA
Itziar Castelló & Josep M. Lozano (2011). Searching for New Forms of Legitimacy Through Corporate Responsibility Rhetoric. Journal of Business Ethics 100 (1):11 - 29.
Ye Cai, Hoje Jo & Carrie Pan (2012). Doing Well While Doing Bad? CSR in Controversial Industry Sectors. Journal of Business Ethics 108 (4):467 - 480.
Hoje Jo & Haejung Na (2012). Does CSR Reduce Firm Risk? Evidence From Controversial Industry Sectors. Journal of Business Ethics 110 (4):441-456.
Kenneth De Roeck & Nathalie Delobbe (2012). Do Environmental CSR Initiatives Serve Organizations' Legitimacy in the Oil Industry? Exploring Employees' Reactions Through Organizational Identification Theory. Journal of Business Ethics 110 (4):397-412.
Adam Lindgreen, François Maon, Jon Reast & Mirella Yani-De-Soriano (2012). Guest Editorial: Corporate Social Responsibility in Controversial Industry Sectors. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 110 (4):393-395.
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